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Personal development


Personal Development helps pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepared for life and work with an impact on academic and non-academic outcomes. Our Programmes of Study aim to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk management, teamworking and critical thinking in the context of three core themes: health and wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world (including economic wellbeing and aspects of careers education)


How it benefits our students:

Personal Development can tackle barriers to learning, raise aspiration and improve life chances for all students. There is evidence to show that it can also address substance misuse, unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity, emotional health and wellbeing.


The Personal Development curriculum:

The Personal Development curriculum has been designed to reflect the needs of our community and is based on the statutory guidance for RSE 2020 – see the curriculum map for further details. In autumn 2019 a full curriculum audit took place which identified which strands of the framework are currently being delivered. In response to the outcomes of this and through capturing student views on what they would like to receive more guidance on, a review of the Programmes of Study has taken place.


How Personal Development is delivered:

Personal Development is delivered as a discrete subject fortnightly to provide continuity and progression with opportunities to learn through other curriculum subjects and events. We have the same high expectations in Personal Development lessons as other subjects and students are issued with a workbook to log their work. In addition students receive a weekly assembly based on the school’s monthly theme. A weekly Personal Development PowerPoint is shown to all students at the start of each week which covers a number of elements of the RSE 2020 curriculum. Three items of current ‘In The News’ items are shared to generate discussion.  During morning registration there are opportunities to develop knowledge of focused areas such as; ‘Black History month’, ‘Anti Bullying week’ and ‘Diversity week’.


Who delivers the Personal Development programme:

The child’s form tutor delivers the majority of the content but external agencies such as Essex Fire and Rescue, Colchester United and ‘Restart A Heart’ are invited in to support the learning. Members of the Leadership team in conjunction with the Head of Year lead assemblies. In Year 7-10 each tutor group delivers an assembly to their peers based on the monthly theme (see overview of Personal Development Themes below). Time is allocated to researching the theme and considering creative ways to deliver the material.


Assessment of Personal Development:

To be successful independent learners, children and young people need regular opportunities to reflect on and identify what they have learned, what needs to be learned and what they need to continue their learning. The personal nature of a Personal Development curriculum means that it cannot be assessed in the same ways as most other subjects. It is however possible to recognise and evidence progress and attainment in the knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes Personal Development strives to enhance.  The model of assessment we utilise is that at the start of every new unit an initial activity is carried out to gauge the students starting point. It is used to inform the teachers planning for that module. At the end of the unit an activity is carried out to allow students to demonstrate the progress they have made. For example an initial mindmap which is then revisited with a coloured pen adding to it, correcting previous misconceptions and answering initial questions.


Links to British Values:

In the Summer of 2019 a comprehensive audit of how and where British Values are delivered across the curriculum took place – (see the British Values subpage). It is without doubt that the Personal Development curriculum provides ample opportunities to promote British Values and educate about individual liberty, rule of law, tolerance, mutual respect and diversity. Visual displays around the school site compliment the education students receive in relation to British values.


Further reading:

  • RSE Policy
  • LGBT policy
  • Mental Wellbeing policy
  • Suicide Awareness policy
  • Harmful Sexual Behaviour / Peer on Peer Abuse policy